About the Book
Journals of Two Expeditions into the Interior of New South Wales, undertaken by order of the British government in the years 1817-18
As Surveyor General, John Oxley, made a close examination of the Tweed River and Port Curtis, and sources connected that investigation, principally the manuscript journal kept by Oxley, and the published ‘Narrative’ of John Uniaeke, who accompanied Oxley, From Oxley’s notebook in the Archives Office of New South Wales (location 2 /8093) the following extract is taken from the entry for October 31, 1823 : “Fri.31 Oct. At 3[PM] made sail intending to anchor to the South of Point Danger. At 5[PM] passed close to a Bold Headland [present-day Point Danger]about 3 Miles North of Pt. D.[Cook's Point Danger - Fingal Head] On the South Side of this headland we had the satisfaction to discover a considerable river with an apparent clear entrance. Hove on for the purpose of anchoring between the Island and the Main land [Fingal Head]. At ½ past 5 passing too close to the Island we shoaled our “water to 2 ½ fms but almost instantly deepened to 5 fms. Anchored under the lee of the Island in 7 fms sandy Bottom being tolerably sheltered from the SSE round by the w to NE - the distance between the Island and the Main is about 50 chains, the point of the Main as well as the Island composed of regular Basaltic Pillars. To the South extends a Sandy Beach of about 3 ½ miles ending in a low sandy Point off which brakers seem to extend about ¾ of a mile. Soundings between the Island and the Main and found the deepest water 6 fms in mid channel rather including to the Mainland. Observed the River from the Mast head take a SW direction running through a moderately elevated country towards the Base of Mt. Warning.”
About the Author
John Oxley, 1783-1828
John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (1783/1785? – 26 May 1828) was an explorer and surveyor of Australia in the early period of English colonisation.
October 1802 he was engaged in coastal survey work including an expedition to Western Port in 1804-05. In 1805 Governor King appointed him acting lieutenant in charge of the Buffalo, and in 1806 he commanded the Estramina on a trip to Van Diemen's Land. Next year he returned to England where, on 25 November, he was commissioned lieutenant. He came back to Sydney in November 1808 to take up an appointment as first lieutenant in H.M.S. Porpoise, having sailed out as agent for the Transport Board in the convict ship Speke, in which he shipped goods worth £800 as an investment. He had obtained an order from the Colonial Office for a grant of 600 acres (240 ha) near the Nepean River, but Lieutenant-Governor Paterson granted him 1,000 acres (400 ha). Oxley had to surrender these in 1810, but Governor Macquarie granted him 600 acres (240 ha) near Camden which he increased in 1815 to 1,000 acres (400 ha) again. This he called Kirkham.
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